Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Shades of Dirt and Gravel

When did I start making all my decorating decisions based on how well the item in question will wear?

I realized I do this when D and I were picking out our hard wood floors, or fake hard wood floors as it turns out. We were asking the man helping us things like…”what if a piece of ice was dropped on the floor and left…for days?” and “what if someone rode their scooter or roller blades on it? Will it scratch significantly?” And “Does it still look nice when it is all scratch up and worn like real wood floors?”

Finally the man asked us where in the world we were going to put these floors.

We did the same thing when we put in the current carpet and lino. D and I walked into the floor store and D asked the sales man to show us all they had in the shades of dirt, or gravel color will work fine too.

When D and I were picking our fabric to re cover the dining room chairs, we had a lady helping us. She asked for some idea of what we liked. I told her I was looking for something in the dark blue and green family, something with a pattern but not too busy. Everything she showed us was not good enough. We were saying things like.

No to plain, it will show everything.

No, not enough pattern, it will show everything.

Imagine ketchup on that, it’ll show bigtime.

We finally found something that was nice, but it’ll still show everything. D said just make sure I scotch guard it heavily.

By the time we were done, the sales lady was looking at us and wondering what kind of nut house we lived in. Little does she know.

Our living room furniture is either, beige, leather (brown) or a twill type fabric. I even consider my living room accent cushions to be disposable. I know when I buy them that they will last maybe 6 months. Less if they have any kind of embroidery or tassels that can be pulled out. I buy them on clearance knowing what their fate will be.

I am starting to wonder if I will ever be able to decorate in a style that I like, as apposed to the style that will not look like I live with a heard of elephants.

The problem is that we USE what we have. Almost nothing is for show in this house. It is too small for things that don’t serve a purpose. I do have a shelf running the length of my wall in the dining room that holds all my tea pots and pretty frames and candlesticks that I want to last. But everything else gets used.

When my ‘nice’ dishes were destroyed, mere months after the boys started doing the dishes (okay, I’m exaggerating again, but only slightly) I replaced them not with the dishes I liked best, or even the ones that were the best deal. I replaced them with Correlle, because they say it will last forever. Something my kids are disproving at an alarming rate.

The dining room chairs? We spend tons of time there. That is where we eat three meals a day, and homeschool. It seems someone’s bum is planted in one of these chairs 24/7! Okay that may be an exaggeration, we don’t sleep in them. And lets not even get started on the place they actually do sleep. How in the heck do they do that to the sheets. While Sleeping?

As for the floors? Well, we live in a neighborhood my MIL affectionately refers to as Sesame Street. There are packs of roving marauders, I mean adorable children that go from house to house, daily.

They all play together and drag in every dirty thing they can possibly get to stick to their feet, in and out of everyone’s houses along the street.

We mom’s just shake our heads and wave to one another as we sweep the dirt out the front door for the zillionth time that day.

I know one day they will be gone and my house will be the way I like it, and accent pillows will last longer than 6 months and I will not find branches in the back bathtub (don’t ask).

I know I will be lonely and miss my kids; at least that is what everyone tells me. I think I’ll be too busy enjoying the way everything stays where I put it, to notice.


Sleep-Deprived said...

Gee, what you described is the norm around here. We just did an addition to our house last year, and some additional remodeling inside. I had that very conversation with our interior designer about some built-ins. I wanted to be sure that they would be easy to clean and wouldn't collect excess dust. I had one section of my desktop made with replaceable plexi-glass so I could replace it when (not if) necessary. And when I picked out bathroom fixtures, I always had in mind, "is this easy to wipe down?" "Will it show finger prints?" etc. Of course maybe I'm hyper-sensitive about it all since we bought a house with almost-white carpet and now have four children five and under!

Let me know if you find that perfect floor...I'll be shopping for one in a few years!

Halfmoon Girl said...

I can totally relate. We milled our hardwood off our property and my husband laid it piece by pain staking piece. The kids seem to put a new gouge in it daily. Poor man. It is just the way it goes. I don't know about having a quiet house in a few years. My parents have 10 grandchildren living close, and it seems that my mom still can't have anything nice out!